Zampella On Ownership, 3D, And Free-To-Play Games

by Jeff Marchiafava on Sep 24, 2011 at 09:25 AM

This week at the 3D Gaming Summit, industry luminary Vince Zampella shared his thoughts on a variety of recent gaming trends.

Vince Zampella hasn't said much since he and Jason West formed Respawn Entertainment after being forced out of Infinity Ward by Activision, and to no one's surprise, his talk didn't touch on their ongoing lawsuit with the publisher. He did speak to a variety of other interesting topics, which give some hint as to what Respawn might be focusing on in the future.

Providing some insight into how things will be different at Respawn, Zampella discussed the importance of having control over a project, stating, "It's an industry that demands that you put a lot of yourself into it; it's creative, it's driven by what you're going to put into it, the end product. So, if you want people to be invested, who are putting their hearts and souls into it, they need to feel like it's protected, and what they do means something."

Zampella went on to reveal lukewarm feelings for stereoscopic 3D games. "It's not something that's a focus for us, but it's still interesting. ...with the next generation of game consoles coming some time in the future, the horsepower's certainly there to do it."

Perhaps the most intriguing quote from Zampella comes on the topic of free-to-play games, where he acknowledged their importance to the industry, and questioned the effect they'll have on retail games. "Free-to-play is here to stay; it's part of the landscape, but I'm wondering where that breaches the triple-A game? There's still a gap between free-to-play games and a $60 title, but we need to keep an eye on what happens. Will we hit a point where people say 'I can get a game that's 90 percent as good for a fraction of the cost?' It's possible."

I'm guessing that, as a fledgling developer, Respawn won't be making a free-to-play title anytime soon, but now that West and Zampella are once again in control of their own studio, it's interesting to see Zampella address the possibilities now available to developers in this ever-changing industry. For more quotes from Zampella, check out Gamasutra's write-up of the talk.